The Internet of Things (IoT) represents a massive opportunity for agile organizations—and the best way to explore the enterprise IoT potential is with an on-premise analytics-ready data infrastructure based on software defined object storage. Read on to discover the top 6 reasons why IoT thrives on object storage.
Smart Connected ‘Things’ Are Taking Over The Internet
The era when the size of the internet was measured by the number of its human users is over. The majority of growth is now coming from internet-connected devices and machines, many of which do not have a specific human owner or operator. This has given rise to the so-called ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) — the term that has emerged to describe this fast-growing world of billions of smart, networked devices and machines, generating and using data.
Connected smart devices in the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things Is a World of Enterprise Potential
The global rise of the internet in recent decades, with internet-connected mobile devices and machines producing continuous data, is creating a new world of opportunity for enterprise organizations. The potential of IoT is not just in the devices and the network, but also in the latest ‘big data’ analytics software. The enterprise opportunities come from being able to combine and analyze IoT data for new valuable insights—and apply these to provide smarter products, innovative solutions and personalized customer experiences. IoT and big data analytics work together to deliver a range of competitive advantages, enabling organizations to:
Of course, the IoT possibilities are not just directly customer-facing—enterprise organizations can also use IoT to transform their internal processes, driving new efficiency, revenue increases and cost savings in areas like operations, supply chain, sales, marketing, maintenance, customer service and more.
Examples of how different sectors are using IoT include:
The IoT Opportunity Also Brings New Data Challenges
Analysts IDC recently predict an explosive growth in the IoT space, to reach with its value to reach $1.7 trillion by 2020. If organizations are to derive value from IoT data, they first need a way to store it, ready for analytics.
Neither traditional file nor block storage is ideally suited for the kind of big data associated with IoT. The velocity and diversity of IoT data generation means that trying to manage it with a file storage folder structure is impractical. This unstructured nature of IoT big data also makes it unsuited for the database-orientated characteristics of block storage.
Another factor is that data storage for IoT must also be able to cope with potentially massive data growth in a short time. The millions of small data packets generated in IoT can quickly add up to seriously big data—on a petabyte-scale—creating a data growth, cost and storage challenge to the enterprise.
Data storage for IoT also needs to be able to ingest data as fast as it arrives from millions of sources—so velocity, availability and reliability are vital. The bigger your IoT data pool, the more precise and valuable your analytics have the potential to be. The creation of each item of IoT data is a one-time event. Miss out on capturing it and you miss your chance to derive value from it. If your storage platform goes down at the wrong moment, you may miss a very important data event.
In addition, analytics tools like Hadoop MapReduce and YARN (Yet Another Resource Negotiator) now offer computing power that was previously exclusive to large enterprises and supercomputers. With these tools, a larger data set equates to higher accuracy in predictive analytics. Consequently, all of your IoT data must be captured and stored for later analysis. But what kind of data storage is right for IoT?
Object Storage Enables the Full Potential of IoT
‘Object storage’ is the predominant cloud-scale data storage model that organizations need to understand in order to exploit IoT opportunities, and deal with the specific nature and rapid growth of IoT data.
In this storage architecture, data items are not stored in blocks, files or folders, but rather in flexibly-sized containers called ‘objects’. Placing data items in object storage is quick and easy—like putting items in a bucket—so it can deal with rapid ingestion of millions of IoT data items from millions of sources.
Object storage is great for storing large amounts of unstructured IoT data, as its simple ‘flat’ structure can scale elastically. Object storage also works well with big data analytics platforms like Hadoop—vital for getting actionable insights from your IoT data. This is because object storage offers user-customizable metadata, which delivers almost limitless search options and ways for categorizing big data.
But how do you decide where to store your object data? Is public cloud or on-premise private cloud the best option for your IoT strategy—and in which situations?
IoT/Analytics: Comparing Private vs Public Cloud
Public Cloud for
Public Cloud for
On-premise - Data in your|
|Off-premise - Data is in the control of a 3rd party.|
|Data management||Hands-on - In-house managed environment.||
Hands-off - Provider
Opex advantages - Capital equipment |
|Capex advantages - No capital equipment lease/purchase. Pay by use, low startup cost.|
|Cost predictability||Cost is fixed - With ECS the cost per GB decreases as the number/size of sites increase. No bandwith charges or data movement fees.||Cost is variable - With public cloud the cost goes up as more data is stored, moved and analyzed. Charges typically apply for bandwith and data movement.|
|Analytic process||Simplified - Integrated HDFS "data in place" analytics, no ETL required.||Complex-ETL and ingest required for analytics.|
|Multi-tenant solution - Can offer Hadoop Storage-As-A-Service||Designed for individual organizations.|
Top 6 Reasons Why IoT Thrives On software defined object storage
The latest generation of on-premise object storage solutions like Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) give enterprise organizations an attractive new option to complement public cloud for IoT analytics. Here’s 6 good reasons why...
Ready to Make IoT Your Next Big Thing?
For most organizations exploring IoT, the choice between public cloud and on-premise object storage will not be ‘one or the other’—both approaches will play a valuable role in different use cases. The important thing is you now have a wider range of IoT options.
Organizations using IoT that want the reassurance and confidence of a turnkey on-premise object storage solution can turn to a partner like EMC for end-to-end expertise, support, software, and hardware—with the Dell EMC ECS Appliance providing a uniquely simple pre-configured option.
Get your organization in position to explore the possibilities enabled by IoT, with smart on-premise object storage. You can start small, with a cost-free test environment—and scale up easily when ready for real IoT opportunities.